II Chronicles 7:14; Colossians 4:2, “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;”
“It is interesting to remark how large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer, either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises. We scarcely open the Bible before we read, "Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord; " and just as we are about to close the volume, the "Amen" of an earnest supplication meets our ear. Instances are plentiful.” ---Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Of all the sins that appear in the life of the average Christian, prayerlessness is probably the greatest sin of all. If we as God’s people would pray and seek His face, our lives would be richer and more enjoyable, and certainly more effective for the Lord. Let us consider what we find in Scripture.
I. CONSIDER THE LIST OF THOSE WHO FOUND PRAY A NECESSITY
A. Here we find Jacob wrestling with the Lord, Genesis 32:24-30.
1. Jacob wrestled with the Lord, vs. 24-25, “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.”
2. Jacob did not let go until the Lord blessed him, v. 26, “And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.”
B. There is Daniel who prayed three times a day, Daniel 6:10, “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.”
C. David, with all his heart, called upon his God, 1 Kings 14:8, “And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes;”
D. On the mountain we see Elijah, 1 Kings 19:12-13, “And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?”
E. In the dungeon Paul and Silas, Acts 16:25-26, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.”
II. WE HAVE MULTITUDES OF COMMANDS AND NUMEROUS PROMISES REGARDING PRAYER
A. They teach us the sacred importance and necessity of prayer. We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in his Word, He intended to be conspicuous in our lives.
They teach us that we have much need of prayer.
1. So deep are our necessities, that until we are in heaven we must not cease to pray.
2. Do you want nothing? Then, you do not know your POVERTY.
3. Have you no need of mercy? Then, may the Lord’s mercy show you your MISERY!
III. A PRAYERLESS SOUL IS A CHRISTLESS SOUL
A. Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
B. Prayer is the shout of the fighting believer,
C. Prayer is the hymn of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus, Acts 7:59-60, “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
D. It is…
1. The breath of a Christian.
2. The watchword of a Christian
3. The comfort of a Christian
4. The strength of a Christian
5. Tthe honor of a Christian
IV. Your Prayer for this year
A. You might…
1. Be holy, 1 Peter 1:16, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
2. Be humble, James 4:10, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
3. Be zealous, Titus 2:14, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
4. Be patient, Romans 12:12, “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;”
5. Have closer communion with Christ, 1 John 1:3, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
6. Enter more often into the banquet house of His love, Philippians 1:9, “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;”
B. Pray that thou mayst be an example and a blessing unto others, 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
C. Pray that you might live more to the glory of your Master, Psalm 50:15, “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”
Prayer ought to be an intregal part of our Christian life. Without prayer your Christian life is incomplete. Fellowship with the Lord has to include communion with God in prayer.
There you make contact with the Lord in order to know His will in your life. Our Lord Jesus Christ spent much time before the Father in prayer for guidance in every situation. How can we do less?